Adam Smith

Died aged c. 67

Adam Smith (baptized 16 June [O.S. 5 June] 1723 – 17 July 1790) was a Scottish economist and philosopher who was a pioneer in the thinking of political economy and key figure during the Scottish Enlightenment. Seen by some as "The Father of Economics" or "The Father of Capitalism", he wrote two classic works, The Theory of Moral Sentiments (1759) and An Inquiry into the Nature and Causes of the Wealth of Nations (1776). The latter, often abbreviated as The Wealth of Nations, is considered his magnum opus and the first modern work that treats economics as a comprehensive system and as an academic discipline. Smith refuses to explain the distribution of wealth and power in terms of God’s will and instead appeals to natural, political, social, economic and technological factors and the interactions between them. Among other economic theories, the work introduced Smith's idea of absolute advantage. Smith studied social philosophy at the University of Glasgow and at Balliol College, Oxford, where he was one of the first students to benefit from scholarships set up by fellow Scot John Snell. After graduating, he delivered a successful series of public lectures at the University of Edinburgh, leading him to collaborate with David Hume during the Scottish Enlightenment. Smith obtained a professorship at Glasgow, teaching moral philosophy and during this time, wrote and published The Theory of Moral Sentiments. In his later life, he took a tutoring position that allowed him to travel throughout Europe, where he met other intellectual leaders of his day. As a reaction to the common policy of protecting national markets and merchants, what came to be known as mercantilism, Smith laid the foundations of classical free market economic theory. The Wealth of Nations was a precursor to the modern academic discipline of economics. In this and other works, he developed the concept of division of labour and expounded upon how rational self-interest and competition can lead to economic prosperity. Smith was controversial in his own day and his general approach and writing style were often satirised by writers such as Horace Walpole.

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Commemorated on 3 plaques

Adam Smith Halls planned by Provost Michael Beveridge (1835 - 90) opened in 1899 by Andrew Carnegie in recognition of Kircaldy's greatest citizen Adam Smith (1723 - 90) author of "Wealth Of Nations"

Adam Smith Theatre, Bennochy Road, KY1 1ET, Kirkcaldy, United Kingdom where they lived near

Adam Smith 1723-1790 born in Kirkcaldy. On this site stood the home of his mother in which he lived from 1767 - 1776 and completed 'The Wealth Of Nations'. House removed 1834. His grave is in the Canongate Churchyard, Edinburgh. Erected 1953.

220 High Street, KY1 1JT, Kirkcaldy, United Kingdom where they lived (1767-1776)

In Panmure House, on the east side of this close, Adam Smith lived from 1778 to 1790.

Panmure Close, Edinburgh, United Kingdom where they lived